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David A's Europa

Seat System

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Updated 30 August 2012 with a new passenger seat picture.

Both passenger and driver seats are modified for convenience. The stock seat system weighs 26 pounds each seat, which is pointlessly heavy. Maybe someday I will create a foam/bead seat, weighing just a few pounds... for trackdays. Maybe not.

First we review the driver seat, then the passenger seat area below. Near the bottom of this page we show the Coolshirt ice box (easily mounted in place of the seat). And finally, the laptop stand that bolts in place of the seat for when making modifications to the engine's ECU data.

Notice the driver seat is cut off at the top with a seperate head rest fastened to the firewall. The stock seat did not work well with a Hans device or even just a helmet. So I reworked the top of the metal and had Jack's Upholstery here in Burlingame/San Mateo do the upholstery. What is not so clear is that the padding of the center portion of the back rest (not counting the side padding) is held in place by a flap over the top of the seat-back and velcro on the back side of the metal seat frame. So the back padding is easily removable. See the reason next...

picture of driver seat installed

Here are the very thin indeed seat and backrest versions for use at track days or autocrosses. The thin seat and back fit in place of the padded items and give better side support and more helmet room and a lower center of gravity!

picture of driver seat alternate cushions

When street driving, if one wants a closer headrest, one can quickly replace the 1 inch thick headrest with this 5 inch thick item. The headrests are fastened to the car via velcro to an aluminum plate bolted to the seat belt mount.

picture of alternate headrest

The passenger seat presented a different problem set. Lets start with a picture with the seat installed. Looks quite stock and indeed it is.

picture of passenger seat installed

Stock it is heavy and difficult to remove because one has to slide it forward on the rails quite a long way. But (as you see in the preceeding picture) I have things in the way of sliding it. Moreover, the seat rails are hard to align due to factory tolerances with the bobbin placement. So I added 1/4 inch rods welded to the rail mounts which guarantee the mounts are parallel and straight. (Notice the black plastic at the left edge of the picture: it keeps fingers out of the wiring behind the plastic).

picture of seat rail mounts

In addition, at hot-weather track days I want to bolt a Coolshirt box into the passenger area, I have no need for a seat. It gets over 100 degrees F at Thunderhill Raceway Park (near Willows, California, USA) regularly. So driver cooling under a driver-suit becomes important in a closed car without air-conditioning.

I cut the bottom-rail foor tracks a bit and bent parts up (seat rail modifications shown below). So now the seat slots into the bottom rails easily and if one moves the seat back an inch or two the stock locking mechanism locks it into place. So the ChaseCam and fire bottle need not be moved. Here is a detail showing how the seat mount was modified.

detail picture of seat rail mounts

The seat rail tracks, with corresponding changes to the metal so it would all slot in place easily:

picture of seat bottom rails

Here is a detail of the stock lock mechanism in the modified rail.

detail picture of seat bottom rail lock

Here is the Coolshirt ice box. Since the seat is now easily removed, I will remove it for track days and use a couple of the seat bolt bolts to bolt the coolshirt box in place. The box-strap holds the box to the mount and also holds the control switch where the driver can easily reach it. The 'BYPASS' switch setting gives the driver the ability to control pump speed using the round black dial.

picture of coolshirt ice box

When the seat is removed it becomes trivial to fasten this laptop stand with the seat bolts. Then making engine ECU adjustments to the fuel tables (or other data) is easy. As is logging data while driving.

picture of the laptop computer stand

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